I totally agree, Kingsson. In fact, I was greatly blessed by your response.
I believe I am justified in stating it as I did, simply because the scriptures so often speak in similar ways: "you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk." [Eph.4:17]
We know, however, that is not in our own strength that this takes place.
May I be lengthy again, my brothers and sisters? I would like to comment on this "Christian Perfection."
I do not believe that any Christian has ever sustained perfect sinlessness of character for any reasonable amount of time. Even in the best actions are many subtle corruptions, and the scriptures lead me to believe that this will remain until our "bodies of death" are transformed.
For this reason even our best endeavors can only be offered to God on the basis of grace. Our good deeds, which flow from and are soiled by these naturally filthy vessels, are sanctified by faith in the atonement of Christ. It is as Paul wrote, "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto the Lord"; the living having been made holy and acceptable by that which has died, Jesus Christ, our Lamb.
From this you may gather that I do not believe that perfect character is a necessary attribute of truly saved individuals.
However, I do consent that Christians sometimes experience periods of "no known sin." This seems to be more common amongst new believers who simply regard fewer things as sin. Some sensitive disciples accept Paul's words, "pray without ceasing," as a command and necessary means of fulfilling the law of loving one's neighbor as himself. For this reason they may never experience the feeling of "sinless perfection," while perhaps, in the sight of God, they are regarded as outstanding and upright, as Job was.
After great battles of mortification our enemies sometimes retreat. During these seasons of apparent victory and smooth sailing, we must remember that our sinfulness lies hidden as icebergs beneath an ocean of unforeseen situations. Thinking we have risen above temptation, we may collide with failure. We cannot be certain of our integrity until it has been tried in a thousand furnaces, and even then we must "consider ourselves lest we fall likewise."
| 2007/12/4 1:48||Profile|
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
John Wesley (I believe it was him) said that holiness is not the inability to sin, but rather the ability NOT to sin. It is in fact impossible, as I stated earlier, for humans to live the Christian life. Our only hope is to DIE to ourselves and let the life of Christ take over. This is a life-long journey and I am still in the early stages of unpacking what that looks like. Thank God for His mercy, grace, and (especially for me) His PATIENCE!
| 2007/12/4 9:28||Profile|
Brrethren and sisters... I need to retract my one statement in my previous post where I told whyate to let me know when he reaches perfection and I would then point out his pride. In retrospect I do not think that he is promoting "sinless perfection" on this thread. I think I jumped the gun here, and probably because sinless perfection has been a reocurring topic as of late. Some [i]have[/i] actually come on this forum and made claims that they had reached perfection, and someone's salvation wasnt real if they hadnt reached perfection.
I dont believe thats what [b]whyate[/b] is promoting here, and unfortunately I think my haste in not taking the time to gain more understanding into what he was saying tainted other people's perspective as to what he was trying to get across too.
I apologize for that. I know I get frustrated when people jump the gun on me... and here I am doing it too. My own duplicity is an irritating source of frustration for me.
Just another sign that you can be saved, but not perfect. 8-)
| 2007/12/4 13:46|
Hello dear brother Krispy, sorry to seem intruding on this thread, but I have a question I would like to know the answer to.
What does perfection mean to you?
Perfect in what sence?
Thank you brother.
| 2007/12/4 13:54||Profile|
You're not intruding. Please jump into any thread.
Perfection is it is no longer me that God sees, but His Son in my place. I am made perfect thru Christ. In other words, it's not my alleged perfection that pleases God... but Christ's perfection in me. The perfect work of salvation that He has accomplished in me.
Christ is my advocate before the throne. It is His perfection in place of my carnal flesh.
It's all about Christ. My righteousness is filthy rags before a holy God. Nothing I can do in my own strength can amount to anything... but with Christ's perfection He takes what I cant do and has already done it for me.
I am totally dependent upon Him because without Him I can do nothing.
Example, lately I've gotten several PM's filled with encouragement. People saying they've been encouraged by the things I write on here (for the most part)... and it always makes me feel odd. On my own... in my own flesh... I know I have an astounding propensity toward wretchedness. Pride, ego, etc... I know me well, and God knows me even better than I do. Without Jesus who strengthens me, I couldnt even discuss the weather on this forum.
In the early 1990's when I was in my early to mid 20's y'all would have run away from me. Put some AC/DC on the stereo, a fifth of Jack in my hand and I was one happy guy... or so I thought. I could cuss the wall paper off the wall. I was hot tempered and mean at times. All I knew was the Marine Corp and partying. That was my life. Until Christ came in one night and changed my heart, and a lot of stuff dropped off immediately. Some other things took a long time to break away from. But since that night I was saved God washed me clean, and now instead of Him seeing me as I was, He now sees me as Christ is.
Thats the perfection of Jesus Christ working in me.
But mainly, perfection is what God sees when he looks at me because it isnt me that He sees... it's Christ in my place.
And because He saved me, and because I love Him, my desire is to live in holiness... understand that when I do sin I can confess it and ask His forgiveness because as 1 John says, I have an advocate before the throne. And 1 John was written to believers, not unbelievers.
| 2007/12/4 15:13|
Brother Thank you very much. I totally understand what your saying, or so I belive :-)
I am totally dependent upon Him because without Him I can do nothing.
Amen. I totally agree.
Brother, I agree in that we our self are nothing but bad, brother, but what I think you and I differ inis that I belive that God makes new people out of us, new people in the sence that he is the one controling our lives. It is no longer our will the one we want to do, but his will alone, and we can´t do his will out of our efforts, but throught him living within us, inside of us.
perfection is what God sees when he looks at me because it isnt me that He sees... it's Christ in my place.
Brother, I´m a little bit confused, If God is living in you how come the you still exists? You can´t be controlled by two people, ither you are controlled by self or you are controlled by God. Ither God lives in you or the "you" live in you. Aren't all Christians told to deny themselfs, take up the Cross and follow him?
Thank you for your time brother.
| 2007/12/4 15:33||Profile|
Well, I agree with everything you wrote. God does change our hearts, and we become new creatures in Christ. No doubt about that, and that transformation in some people (like me) is tramadic... and with others, not quite as tramadic.
But, God does not come in and control us like a puppet. We have to bend our knee to His will on a daily basis. And when we are walking with Him daily and in close relationship with us He gives us the strength to bow to His will. He wont force Himself on us... He wants us to submit.
But submission takes strength. I am not a submissive person by nature... I'm a take charge "my way or the highway" kinda guy. I used to think of submission as a weakness, but I've learned that I am too weak to submit... and that is where I rely on His strength the most.
I think we're on the same page, friend. It's just this semantics thing gets in the way sometimes.
| 2007/12/4 16:12|
| Re: PERFECTION is the only way.|
There is a sermon that was posted that may give everyone some insite into what I am talking about in this tread.
Just because you seek Jesus and beleive does not mean that you will enter the kingdom of heaven.
2 Peter 1:9-11 (King James Version)
9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Luke 13 (King James Version)
23Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
These people knocking at the door, they are like most of us, seeking. But not everyone that seeks shall enter. The Lord knows our hearts. Just because seek Jesus and beleive does not mean that you will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 7 (King James Version)
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
PLEASE EVERYONE PRAY ASK THE LORD TO SHOW YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
MAY WE BECOME PERFECT IN FAITH.
| 2007/12/4 20:04||Profile|